Historic home in an iconic Seattle neighborhood gets a renovation that stays true to its original beauty.

When a young couple purchased this 1910s-era colonial revival in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, they loved the home’s classic, quintessentially American architecture but wanted to update and modernize it without compromising its original character, charm and period detail.


The extensive renovation was led by Anne Adams, principal of Adams Architecture in Seattle. Her plans called for the expansion and remodel of the kitchen, a new master bedroom with ensuite and, most strikingly, the addition of a sunroom on the West side of the home—a glass-encased sanctuary in which to enjoy unobstructed views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

From a glazing perspective, the renovation consisted of two parts—replacing all the original double hung windows in the main house and installing new windows in the addition that would offer modern performance yet blend seamlessly with the traditional architecture throughout the home.

“[My clients] liked the vintage look of the old, original windows—even the wavy glass—but had concerns about security and energy efficiency,” said Adams. “Our goal was to do the total window replacement in a way that looked like the windows had always been a part of the house.”


Ultimately, the homeowners opted for Ultimate Double Hung G2 windows from the Marvin Signature Collection. The multitude of traditional sticking options and profiles offered by Marvin allowed Adams and the homeowners to meet their design goals and performance expectations.

“We found the quality of Marvin windows really fit our client’s needs,” said Adams.

The renovation was not without a few surprises. When the old windows were removed, they discovered the home had been built with structural clay tile—interlocking burned-clay block that was then stuccoed. This material was commonly used in North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before being replaced by concrete masonry units, but is still incredibly unusual to find in a Seattle-area home.

The unique building material did, however, provide an unexpected benefit—the extra thickness of the masonry wall allowed for greater setback with the new windows, which provided more coverage and protection from Seattle’s famous temperate marine climate. Because the windows are not flush with the exterior wall, the masonry acts as an umbrella, shielding the windows from precipitation. To account for the recess, Adams worked with finishing carpenters to trim out the windows to give them a seamless appearance with the exterior wall.


The second part of the renovation involved the sunroom. Specifically, finding windows that would offer the same sense of timelessness with enough glass to provide clear views to the water and mountains.

“We wanted to use the same traditional profiles, but without the traditional grid to allow for unobstructed views of the harbor,” explained Adams.

To optimize views and comfort, Adam’s used a mix of large, direct glaze and operable casement windows for cross-ventilation. Despite their lack of traditional embellishments, the windows in the sunroom work beautifully within the context of the rest of the home, while at the same time giving the space its own unique identity within it.

Any time so much glass is used, energy efficiency is going to be a factor, especially in an energy-conscious state like Washington. “Washington state energy code is pretty strict,” said Adams. “So we had to meet a prescriptive .30 U Value. And that was not at all a problem with Marvin.”

Working back and forth with Marvin through shop drawings, Adams was able to make the small, yet hugely significant, changes necessary to create the precise look she had envisioned for the home. And because this was a very schedule-driven project, being able to make on-the-fly changes and still get the windows on time was crucial to keeping the build-out on schedule.

“The turnaround was incredible, which gives the exterior an extremely cohesive look.”

Featured Marvin Signature Collection Products:
Ultimate Double Hung G2
Ultimate Casement Push Out
Ultimate Swinging French Door

Posted by:Marvin

Marvin is a fourth-generation family-owned and -operated business, headquartered in Warroad, Minnesota, with more than 5,500 employees across 15 cities in North America. The Marvin portfolio of products for builders, architects and homeowners is designed to provide exceptional solutions for any project with a focus on creating better ways of living. Marvin products are distributed nationally through a network of independent dealers and are also exported internationally. Visit Marvin.com to learn more.

2 replies on “An American Beauty That’s Quintessentially Queen Anne

  1. First let me say, the Queen Anne home in Seattle, is beautiful. Thank you for letting us see this wonderful renovation. In the first picture you see when you open the Email, it shows the front view of the home. I am interested in the first floor windows. What is the name for this type of window where you have nine lights at the bottom and, six lights at the top? Were these windows also new? I have this type of window in my home and they need to be replaced. They are what there name says, “R”otten, “O”ld, “W”indows. If you could let me know I would be very grateful. Also, if you could let me know if you have any literature that I could get I would appreciate it.

    Thank You
    Raymond Lauer

  2. Hi Raymond,
    Many thanks for your message! We’re so pleased to know this project caught your eye. Regarding the 6×9 windows shown on the lower level of this home, that design is a combination of two of our simulated divided lite pattern options on a Marvin Ultimate Double Hung window. You can view some of our most frequently requested pattern options on our website here: https://www.marvin.com/marvin/windows/double-hung?view=features-options&option=divided-lites#!patterns. But please know that because each of our windows is made-to-order, we can meet almost any pattern you can dream up!

    Also, please find our request for literature page here: https://www.marvin.com/information/request-information. Please let us know if you have any difficulties finding what you are looking for there.

    Thank you!

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